New library, world of opportunities

Five communities in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville last week celebrated the opening of five new libraries for schools serving the respective communities.

Nicole Smith, second secretary - Bougainville Program Australian High Commission, handed over the keys for the new library to Kepesia school principal, Marvin Naru, and four other principals of the schools that received a new library. These schools include Kepesia, Kavaranou, Kekesu, Mungkala and Sipuru Primary School. 

Ms. Smith said Bougainville remains a development priority for Australia with education one of the important sectors. 

"Our education program support is to all levels and we are proud to work in partnership to raise standards in Bougainville. Libraries are important assets to have in a school as they support literacy and foster a love for learning," said Smith.

The library project was delivered through the tripartite partnership of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT), Autonomous Bougainville Department of Education (ABGDOE) and Digicel PNG Foundation (DPNGF). 

Digicel PNG Foundation CEO, Beatrice Mahuru, was proud of the first public private partnership with DFAT, working collaboratively with the ABG, to build classroom and libraries with a shared desire to bring sustainable improvements to student performance.

"DPNGF is motivated by the desire to establish a level playing field for our rural remote students. When you look at human development indicators showing that only 64 percent of PNG's total population is functionally literate, there is much to be done to raise our standards.

“This partnership is part of those efforts to bridge that gap. This library holds books and resources, bringing our rural students to a world of inspiration," Ms. Mahuru said.

The libraries were funded at a cost of K165,000 each and consist of the infrastructure, complete with solar lighting, tables, seating benches, book shelves, books, librarian desk, chair and desktop computer.

On hand to launch the project on behalf of DPNGF was Chief Operations Officer, Adi Anaseini Vesikula.

Established in October 2008, Digicel PNG Foundation has directly invested K77million in rural, remote and socially marginalised communities across all 22 provinces, directly impacting over 770,000 people.

Press release